The Lagos State Government says it is set to arraign four police officers over their alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings.
The officers were said to have been involved in the killing of two persons identified as Segun Sholaja and Ogheneovo Ebobo.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director, Public Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, Mr Kayode Oyekanmi, while an investigation had commenced into the case, fresh evidence came to light indicting the concerned Police Officers.
“In the course of investigation initiated by the Office of the Attorney General/ Commissioner for Justice fresh evidence came to light indicting the concerned Police Officers,” the statement read.
“This has necessitated a review of the earlier legal opinion issued, and the Attorney General/ Commissioner for Justice has directed that the suspects be charged for the killing of the deceased persons.
“The Attorney General/ Commissioner for Justice assures the general public of the resolve of his office to uphold the Rule of Law in the State”.
A day after Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu constituted the State Executive Council, members of the cabinet alongside Permanent Secretaries are being hosted to a capacity building retreat to prepare them for the tasks ahead.
The four-day retreat holding in Lagos was organised for Commissioners, Special Advisers and Permanent Secretaries to enable them key into the policy thrust of building a greater Lagos in line with the six Pillars of Development (T.H.E.M.E.S) of the Sanwo-Olu administration.
One of the major reasons for organizing the 4-day Capacity Building programme amongst others, is to foster and build team work and unity of purpose among administrators that will be taking decisions in the ministries, departments and agencies of government.
The retreat was also organized with the aim of equipping some of the cabinet members without public service background, with the rules and knowledge of public office.
Some of the facilitators engaged to interface with participants include former Executive Secretary of Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, founder of FATE Foundation, Mr. Fola Adeola, and former Lagos Commissioner for Finance Mr. Wale Edun, among others.
The retreat is expected to end on Saturday, when Governor Sanwo-Olu would deliver the closing remarks and a communique issued.
She said the medical outreach was targeted at children between ages 0 to 12, stressing that the choice of the demographic was strategic, because of the need to protect the children from the sickness that may impede their potential.
Executive Director of the NGO, Mrs Nike Osa, said the promotion of children’s health was an important part of the organisation’s goals. She said the partnership with the Sanwo-Olu administration was necessary to enable the Lagos government meet the Item Three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to realise universal health coverage for children and reduce poverty.
She said: “The Government of Lagos recognition of the prime place of children in the survival of humanity, informed the reason the Government graciously offered to collaborate with Healthcare Mission International to make our children healthier. The programme will involve screening children for visual and hearing impairments, and other ailments that can negatively impede their capacity to study.
“Those found to have visual or hearing impairments will be provided with glasses and hearing aids to help them overcome the condition. Even though children are the prime targets of this programme, vulnerable adults will also be given health counselling and screening for tuberculosis and HIV. Those found to be positive will be managed using the established channel of treatment of these illnesses.”
She added that those whose conditions may require higher medical examinations and surgeries will be taken to the tertiary healthcare facilities for the exercise free of charge.
The healthcare programme will take place at Ajara PHC in Badagry, Akerele PHC in Surulere, Ikotun PHC in Alimosho, Iga Iduganran PHC on Lagos Island, Epe PHC in Epe, Onigbongo PHC in Ikeja, and Ita-Elewa PHC in Ikorodu.
Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Tayo Lawal said 100,000 children were expected to benefit from the medical initiative, saying each of the designated primary healthcare centres was expected to attend to thousands of beneficiaries throughout the exercise.
He added that the programme was fully funded by the NGO, noting that the government would only be providing healthcare facility for the exercise.
The Lagos State government has announced some findings made after a preliminary investigation into the tanker explosion which occurred last week in the state.
The tragic tanker explosion occurred on Thursday, on Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, leaving many dead and properties destroyed.
The State Commissioner for Transportation, Ladi Lawanson, told journalists after a meeting with relevant stakeholders alongside heads of government agencies that the preliminary investigation revealed that the tanker which exploded was registered in Nasarawa Local Government and Kano State.
The tanker had registration number NSR 888 YC, and had changed ownership 13 times since purchase.
“It (the tanker) was manufactured in 1999 by Mack Trucks Inc at its assembly plant in Winnsboro, United States. This truck was designed as a 14,959kg (approximately 15 ton) drilling rig with a low bed, but it was converted in Nigeria from a drilling rig to fuel tank carrier to carry 30 tonnes.
“From this preliminary investigation, the truck should not have been loaded to the weight of 30 tonnes, which is twice its pulling capacity,” the Commissioner said, adding that further investigation into the current ownership of the tanker and other related details were progressing.
In reaction to suggestions of restriction of operation of tankers to certain hours, the Commissioner said having critically examined the issue especially considering the fact that imported petroleum products are pumped from import jetties at Atlas Cove through pipelines to Ejigbo Depots in Lagos, Mosimi (Ogun), Ibadan (Oyo), Ilorin (Kwara) and Ore (Ondo), and due to pipeline vandalism, any restriction of such would undermine supplies and threaten the well-being of the Nigerian economy since there is high demand for petroleum products across the country.
He, however, disclosed that the State Government was already exploring alternative modes of transportation of petroleum products to separate passenger traffic from cargo movements within the metropolis in the interest of the public safety and order.
The Lagos state government, in partnership with all the stakeholders, would set up joint-enforcement of the operating laws, while barriers would be installed on bridges in Lagos to prevent articulated trucks including Ojuelegba, Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Ekodeso, Abule-Egba, Lekki-Ajah, among others.
Giving an update on the accident, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Seye Oladejo said out of the four injured persons that were taken away from the scene, one unfortunately died but the government is taking responsibility for the treatment of others.
He denied allegations that some victims were rejected by the General Hospital in Surulere, saying that the victims were only taken to LASUTH, Ikeja and Burns and Trauma Centre in Gbagada.
“When you have such incident of that magnitude, as part of our training as emergency responders, we need to be very careful the way we handle our communication so that we don’t raise unnecessary alarm. It is important for members of the public to remain calm while we get all our acts together, otherwise, we would also be asking for another emergency.
“Altogether, nine people passed on at the incident and they were all burnt beyond recognition. We have set up a helpline at LASEMA to try and open a communication channel with members of the public and with family members of the victims. It is important that DNA is conducted otherwise we would end up giving the wrong bodies to some families to go and inter and that would become another issue entirely.
“This kind of situation really calls for patience and understanding on the part of members of the public and most especially families of the victim. As much as we sympathize and commiserate, things still have to be done professionally. As a government, we are alive to our responsibility and the major business we have is to ensure the safety of lives and property and we are committed to that. We have signed up on that, you are also aware of the massive investment of the State Government on issues bothering on emergency and response,” Oladejo said.
The Commissioner also dismissed allegations that the integrity of Otedola Bridge had been compromised following the incident, saying there was no iota of truth in such, while the government would soon fix the damaged section of the road.
The Lagos State Government has announced a restriction of the movement of fuel tankers to designated trailer route in the state.
This is following the tragic tanker explosion on Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Thursday, June 28, which claimed lives and property.
The state government also said it was now mandatory for all articulated trucks coming into Lagos to obtain the Ministry of Transportation’s Road Worthiness Certificate at any of the designated centres within the next 30 days.
The State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Ladi Lawanson made this announcement in Alausa after meeting with all the relevant stakeholders including Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), National Association of Transport Operators (NATO), Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria, among others.
He also noted that preliminary investigations into the incident revealed a combination of a vehicular defect and human errors.
“As an immediate response to the latest incident, the Lagos State Government hereby announces the following measures: Fuel tankers are hereby directed to ply the designated trailer route, that is, Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway via Ogudu to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“All tankers and containers coming into Lagos State from henceforth are directed to obtain the Ministry of Transportation Certificate of Road Worthiness at any of our centres within the next 30 days, while new centres along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be established to quickly to cope with the expected demand for this service,” Lawanson said.
He listed the 10 centres currently available to process the applications to include Berger, Ojodu; Odogunyan, Ikorodu; Agric/Ishawo Road, Ikorodu; Works yard, PWD, Shogunle; NCI, Gbagada; VIS Yard, Oko-Afo, Badagry; VIS Yard, Ayobo-Ipaja; Test Centre, Badagry; VIS Yard, Epe; and VIS Yard, Oko-Oba Abattoir.
He added that the government, in partnership with all the stakeholders, would set up joint-enforcement of the operating laws, while barriers would be installed on bridges in Lagos to prevent articulated trucks including Ojuelegba, Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Ekodeso, Abule-Egba, Lekki-Ajah, among others.
At least nine people were killed on Thursday after a tanker explosion on Otedola Bridge along the Berger axis of Lagos.
The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Adesina Tiamiyu, confirmed to Channels Television that rescue officials have been able to retrieve nine bodies from the scene of the fire.
Eyewitnesses, however, said the death toll might be higher as many people were trapped in their cars with rescue officials still working at the scene.
The Lagos State Government has said that it will deploy additional 10,000 High Definition CCTV cameras across the state as part of the comprehensive Smart City Programme designed to provide a 24-hour driven economy.
Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm who disclosed this on Friday during a briefing to mark the third anniversary of f Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.
He said the smart city initiative, was intended to allow the people and companies operate in a safe and secure environment thereby creating more jobs and increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.
Giving details, the Commissioner said the focus of the smart city programme basically includes provision of security and surveillance, implementation of a metro fibre network and e-Governance, adding that apart from HD cameras with gantries deployed in the first phase, another scope of the project involves integration of the deployed cameras with Centralized Emergency Command and Control Centre (CCC), provision of road signature structure and street lights across the State.
“In the second phase of the project, we will be deploying 10,000 HD cameras, world-class e-Government solution and data centre solution, one key alarm, metro fibre network to serve as backbone for communication and unified communications with smartphones for first respondent agencies such as police, fire service, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), among others,” Fahm said. He said the initiative would address security, transportation, and infrastructure in a sustainable manner, adding that thousands of surveillance CCTV cameras would eventually be deployed across the length and breadth of the State.
“The security component will deploy thousands of surveillance CCTV cameras through the length and breadth of the State. The transportation component focuses on Intelligent Transport Service (ITS) and the connectivity component with the provision of a metro fibre network through a major Internet Service Provider (IPS) that will eventually lead connectivity to various homes, offices and institutions in the State,” Fahm said.
On activities of the Ministry in the last one year, the Commissioner said it was gratifying to report major portals being developed such as Driver’s Licence Processing and Verification Portals to ease the process of driver’s licence issuance and verification of vehicle registration, Education portals to enhance learning and registration of private schools, while Land Use Charge portal and Citizens Gate app, a platform where residents can engage with government online, were successfully implemented.
He said through the Lagos State Online recruitment and testing portal, a total of 1,500 Local Government staff were recruited in November 2017, while free Wi-fi was provided at three selected parks and gardens across the State with plans to provide additional Wi-fi access at bus terminals and several parks and gardens in the State.
On Yaba Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub, the Commissioner said the project was another eloquent example of the commitment of the present administration to truly create another Silicon Valley in the State where new set of entrepreneurs and innovators would be raised to address the challenges confronting the nation in the ICT sector.
He said upon successful completion of the project, Lagos would become the catalyst for Information Technology (IT) penetration and enablement not just in Nigeria but Africa.
According to him, “The ICT hub is aimed at boosting innovation and creativity among youths with soft skills knowledge in the State. The hub would create enabling the environment for youths to showcase their talents, being future technology leaders and with a burgeoning youth population facing growing employment challenges, Lagos State saw the need to embrace software development and key into vast opportunities available.”
While alluding to the activities of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), the Commissioner said in line with the mandate of the agency to register and issue residency card to residents thereby providing government with reliable demographic database to assist in effective planning and allocation of resources, over four million residents have so far been captured through deliberate strategies put in place in the last one year.
The freezing order also affected 32 other bank accounts belonging to companies, which were allegedly used to divert the N3 billion from the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority.
In an affidavit attached to the ex parte application, the EFCC said its preliminary investigation revealed that the funds were diverted while Mr Folorunsho Coker was the Managing Director of the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority.
The companies whose accounts were also frozen include a law firm, Rimi and Partners, which, the EFCC said, has Coker’s wife, Mrs. Aisha Rimi, as the sole proprietor.
Others companies whose accounts were frozen are Ekosina Investment Limited; SW Properties Limited; Imira Trade and Global Services Limited; Lofty Investment Nigeria Limited; Pure Technical Services Limited; and Cablepoint Limited.
An investigator of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, who deposed to an affidavit in support of the ex parte application, said the probe into the alleged N3billion was informed by an intelligence received sometime in 2017 by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.
According to him, the intelligence was to the effect that there were suspicious transactions on the account of Rimi and Partners, as there were “heavy inflows in excess of N3billion from the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority,” into the account.
Sadiq said an investigation by the EFCC revealed that Rimi and Partners had 10 bank accounts with one of the new generation banks.
The Lagos State Government has amended the charges it filed against Evans and the five others.
The Director of Public Prosecution, DPP Lagos State, Titilayo Shitta-Bey told Justice Hakeem Oshodi that the amendment relates only to the punishment section for the second charge.
The DPP also submitted that there is no material change in the nature of the offence which still remains conspiracy and the kidnap of one Dunu Donatus.
She urged the court to allow the defendants take fresh pleas to the amended two count charges.
Counsel to Evans, Olukoya Ogungbeje has opposed the move for fresh pleas.
He told the judge that he had only just been served in court this morning with the amended charge and he needed time to confer with his client.
He then asked the court to grant him a short adjournment so he could get a proper brief from his clients on how to proceed.
The other defence counsel except for the counsel for the 4th defendant aligned with his submission. The 4th defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku told the court that he was ready to proceed as there was no material change in the charges.
After listening to all the lawyers, Justice Oshodi declined to grant an adjournment but instead opted to stand down the case for 45mins to enable the lawyers to confer with their clients.
The Lagos State Government has ordered owners and operators of articulated vehicles, trailers, and petroleum tankers to stay away from the Apapa area of the city and its environs until it is able to find a solution to the unending traffic bottleneck.
The Acting Commissioner of Transportation in the state, Mr. Olanrewaju Elegushi explained that the directive would be enforced to eliminate the current hardship motorists face on the road every day.
He says the gridlock is worsened by the current rehabilitation of some major roads and other minor ones which necessitated the closure of some roads in Apapa.
This also follows part of the traffic gridlock being experienced by motorists on the third mainland bridge.